- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Like the original Hay Camp, a 1870s-era encampment along Rapid Creek, its pioneer founders probably would never have envisioned their fledgling settlement growing into present-day Rapid City.

Karl Koth and Sam Papendick are eyes-wide-open in expanding their Hay Camp Brewing Co. and are hoping their vision transforms the historic space into another expanding number of multipurpose social gathering spots downtown.

Like the recently completed rejuvenation of the former TMA building just a few blocks away at 323 Main St. into retail, office and residential space called the Dean Building, Koth and Papendick are turning a former automobile dealership at 601 Kansas City St. into what they hope becomes a downtown hot spot.

The plan is to complement their greatly expanded brewery and taproom with a restaurant, coffee shop, an event space, art gallery and even rentable storage space in the building’s cavernous basement, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/2iuaiKV ) reported.

After two years of searching, they purchased what used to be an Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership dating to 1948 from Rapid City Regional Hospital, which had used the building for a laundry for several years.

Like their Old West eponymous settlement, Koth said Hay Camp Brewing Co. was primed to grow.

“We looked at other locations where we’d be just a brewery,” Koth said. “But we wanted to have a collaborative space like this with a coffee shop and a restaurant, offices, storage and an event space.

“We want the sense of community. We want everyone to have a reason to come here and interact with each other.”

According to county records, the purchase price was $701,000. Building permits, for gutting most of the interior and adding new walls added $24,000 in costs, according to records.

Koth and Papendick hope to complete the renovation of the total 38,000-square-foot space, including 18,000 square feet in the basement, for less than $1 million.

They are cutting costs by serving as their own general contractors for the project, and working with their subcontractors. Another investor who desired office space in the building is also chipping in.

Koth declined to name the third-party investor.

“He decided to finance us instead of renting,” Koth said.

The 19,000-square-foot main level will allow them to quadruple their beer production. Accordingly, the 35-foot-long bar, fashioned from wood salvaged from the old Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, will also be able to handle more than 30 patrons.

The full 3,200-square-foot taproom will seat about 130-140 people.

“We can fit as many people at the bar as we can pretty much fit in our entire tavern,” Papendick said.

He and Koth are both Rapid City Stevens graduates who went their separate ways after high school.

Koth moved to Minneapolis to pursue a degree in physics, with Papendick earning a degree in chemical and biological engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

They reconnected while going for their graduate degrees at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, sharing a mutual interest in home-brewing beer.

Koth lent his decade of experience to a space in Papendick’s garage, where they began honing what would become Hay Camp Brewing Co. in August of 2012.

Hay Camp eventually settled in a renovated space at the Fairmont Creamery Mall in the 200 block of Main Street.

Their respective engineering careers limited their home brewing to part time. Karl worked as a physicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Papendick finished his PhD in chemical engineering by teaching at Mines.

Because of those commitments, their brew pub at the Creamery Mall was open only a few nights a week.

Both men, however, have left those careers behind to concentrate on the expansion of the new downtown social complex.

“We’re full-time entrepreneurs now,” Koth said.

They’re aiming for a mid-February opening for the expanded brew pub and taproom, with the restaurant, coffee shop, office space, events center art gallery and rental storage space opening up as they are completed.

Koth anticipates some kind of party event for the opening of each facet, with a full grand opening planned for late summer, he said.

The 3,400-square-foot event space will feature an elevated stage and dance floor, can host live music, weddings, high school and family reunions.

A planned audio-visual system could allow the broadcast of pay-per-view sporting events, among its possible uses.

“We’ve had lots of different inquires here, a multipurpose events space for either alcohol service or non-alcohol service, whatever you want,” Koth said.

The basement, where the old car dealership’s inventory was stored, is tailor made for rental self-storage, with a drive-in car ramp and climate control.

Papendick said the basement could be configured for any size storage needs from 200 to 2,000 square feet.

“There isn’t any downtown storage right now, so we’re hoping to serve the growing residential demand and also bring people in for the beer,” Koth said.

The basement, with its constant temperature year-round, is a perfect aging environment for their beer, he said.

The eight-month renovation is being accomplished with local contractors and locally obtained materials, although some components for their expanded brewery are coming from elsewhere.

They feel the local emphasis will help them take ownership of the space as well as connect with their future patrons.

They compared Rapid City’s growing specialty-beer community with other established brewing meccas, such as Minneapolis or Fort Collins.

“We want people to feel that we can do cool stuff here in Rapid City like anywhere else,” Koth said.

Papendick added, “I think people want this.”

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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